FAAE Committee Report
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Supplement to the Subcommittee on International Human Rights Report on the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise
The Minister of International Trade in her testimony to the subcommittee indicated that Canadians and citizens around the world hold Canadian businesses in high regard and to high standards of human rights. The CORE is a new mechanism to assist in maintaining Canada’s reputation and standards abroad and has the Minister’s full confidence that it has the tools necessary to be an effective office. Additionally, the Minister stated in her testimony that, “we can always review it once it has had sufficient time to operate and we see the results”.
Further to this, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce witness gave similar testimony to indicate that CORE is in its infancy but expressed concerns with questions of jurisdiction. Extraterritorial concerns at a minimum would require collaboration with foreign communities and their levels of governance. The witness further elaborated the Canadian government’s intent to expand CORE’s review to all sectors and that this endeavor would require greater industry consultation.
Finally, the witness for the Working Group on Business and Human Rights for the United Nations Human Rights office of the High Commissioner concluded that they strongly advocate for Canada to make improvements in international human rights. The witnesses’ testimony expressed doubt of the CORE’s effectiveness and raised the additional concern that the CORE’s advisory capacity may result in conflicts of interest.
Therefore, following review of testimony delivered to the subcommittee, the Conservative Members of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development are pleased to submit the following recommendation to the Committee's report on the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise:
That the Government of Canada conduct a full review of the efficacy of the Canadian Ombudsperson for Responsible Enterprise every 4 years to ensure the office maintains effectiveness and reflects positively on Canada’s role as a global human rights leader; that such a review be comprehensive in its nature; and, that such a review be conducted by an independent expert panel.